Bring Flowers of the Rarest

It is May, the month dedicated to the Most Holy Blessed Virgin Mary; and yes, as the title of today’s post suggests: do bring flowers of the rarest in setting up your May altar in Mary’s honor. If you do not own a statue of Mary, a picture will suffice. And, for today, as I posted on the same date last year, I present the Marian hymn/poem, Bring Flowers of the Rarest, which was written by Mary E. Walsh; and was first published in 1871:

“Bring flow’rs of the fairest,
Bring flow’rs of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh! Thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh! Thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life’s journey would be. (Chorus)

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win;
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin. (Chorus)

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.” (Chorus)

The following is a link to a sung version of this delightful hymn by the late Irish Catholic tenor, Frank Patterson. (b. 1938- d. 2000): view/listen here.

During May, we might remember that Mary is, indeed, the air we breathe** as Roman Catholics; air so hearty and life-giving that it is good to have one month to reflect on the gift that is her.

Hail Mary, Queen of May!


**The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe by Gerard Manley Hopkins